by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
Aaron Miller gets GOP nod. -source: Aaron Miller for Congress website
It was a sad and rewarding day at the First Congressional District (CD1) Saturday April 5; sad because two contenders for the GOP endorsement were pealed away and a third strong candidate, Aaron Miller, emerged victorious. Now the real fight begins and Rep. Tim Walz-DFL is serious jeopardy coming from another military veteran.
The good thing about this weekend there at Southwest Middle School in Albert Lea was there was a great contest between three strong conservative Republican candidates, Mike Benson, the former State Representative, Jim Hagedorn, and Aaron Miller. After two ballots, Mike, for whom I have all the respect in the world, bowed out. On the third ballot Jim followed suit, even though Aaron didn’t have quite enough votes to carry the day. After that the seated delegates in the hall voted unanimously to give the endorsement to Miller.
Now a word about Benson and Hagedorn. These are two scrappy, respectable, honorable men who took the fight to Tim Walz who has a horrible legislative record. I like Mike because when I was going through my masters program in New Media Journalism, he was a wealth of knowledge and helped my build my final project around the failed Voter ID law amendment that he co-authored. We lost that fight, but the struggle for voter integrity lives on and Mike and State Senator Carla Nelson and others were warrior leaders fighting that fight, and I am so grateful for Mike’s assistance. He gave a concession speech Saturday after the third ballot that was so classy that I was in tears. They don’t make them like that any more. Thank you Rep. Benson for fighting for us here in Minnesota.
Now Jim Hagedorn was a Washington bureaucrat who was also the son of a well known congressman. Despite being an insider in the Washington beltway, which I think hurt him in the eyes of some, he actually got legislation passed in his tenure there that reduced his agency’s budget and return substantial funds back to the taxpayer. I liked the happy warrior fight in Jim Hagedorn. He’s run twice now and he is a great debater and is always willing to take shots at the enemy. His quick wit is cutting and he get’s right to the heart of the matter. Despite that, he also was a very honorable soul who lived by the Ronald Reagan mantra, “thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican”. At the Olmsted County convention last month as I entered the Byron High School, I saw Jim Hagedorn and Mike Benson standing side by side campaigning together and handing out literature. I commented on this to Hagedorn when I said, “that’s neat! Campaigning right along with the enemy Jim?” To which Hagedorn replied, nodding at Benson, “That’s not an enemy, that’s just a competitor!”
I cast a ballot for each one of these men in turn as my duty as a seated alternate and I was saddened when I realized that both of my candidates lost. But that is politics and its now time to set our sights on the future and support the winner, a strong candidate in his own right.
Aaron Miller emerged the victor of that contest and deserves a look. He is a businessman, a family man and a 20 plus year veteran of the Army Reserve, having attained the rank of Sergeant Major, a capstone in any military career. Anyone who attains that rank, the highest pay grade of the enlisted grades, has been vetted by his peers and superiors to rise to that level and that is significant. He has significant experience in overseas deployments, progressed through the toughest leadership training in the world and has led his fellow Soldiers in combat.
Tim Walz, our current Representative in Congress, was also a Sergeant Major, briefly. He had the chance to serve in combat, but chose instead to occupy a post in the relative safety of Europe. We honor his service as a National Guard Soldier, in the very same division that I served, The 34th Infantry Division. But what we don’t appreciate is his record of service since then as a representative in Congress. More on that in a minute. With Aaron Miller as his challenger this time, Walz cannot run on his experience in the military. While impressive, it doesn’t compare to that of Sergeant Major Miller, who was a Civil Affairs background and multiple deployments in the dangerous combat zones of the Middle East. A garrison Sergeant Major simple doesn’t have the chops in my view to test well against a peer who actually led troops in theater. Period.
Not that people on the Democrat side really care about that. Walz’s military credentials were only useful in pulling away center left Democrats and independents who prefer a moderate candidate with a history of service. It does nothing for the far left radicals that is Walz’s real base.
Unlike Walz, Miller appears to be a strong conservative who better represents the values of southern Minnesotans of the First District. Walz likes to claim the moniker of the Moderate from Mankato, but he is far from it. Every opportunity he has, he has voted for the far left agenda, voting in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
Let’s take a look at some of his votes recently. Walz says he is a veteran for veterans. But when it comes to veteran’s issues, his votes actually hurt. For example, when the sequester hit and the democrats partially shut down the government, full-time Army National Guard and Reserve Soldiers, without whom those reserve components would not run as sufficiently, were required to go to work for a month and not get paid. Republicans put together legislation that would pay those soldiers after the fact. Tim Walz voted against this bill.
Tim Walz also voted for the most recent budget, so that finally the democrats can be on record doing their jobs and passing a budget. But, that budget cut veteran’s benefits of retirees and medical retirees by 1 percent. Tim Walz signed on to that budget even though it hurts veterans.
And finally, Tim Walz has voted for the disastrous Affordable Health Care Act known as Obamacare that we know now hurts everyone across the board. Instead of extending coverage to the uninsured, it actually kicked the individually insured folks off their plans and forced them to get a more expensive plan from the government. This bill has been adjusted numerous times, contrary to the constitution, by the Executive Branch so that it lessons the pain on certain constituents during the election cycle so that it no longer resembles the bill as it was originally passed by congress.
Tim Walz owns this failure. He signed onto it and he owns it and that and many other reasons makes him vulnerable to a GOP challenger.
Aaron Miller during his acceptance speech following his endorsement said, “Someone said we should return Tim Walz to academia! Let’s not! Let’s just send him off to retirement where he can’t do any more damage!”
I agree! That’s why I think we should send Aaron Miller to congress this November and will do everything I can to support his candidacy!
Learn more about Tim Walz’s votes here.
Find out how you can support Aaron Miller here.
American Millennium creator Jeremy Griffith on the steps inside the Minnesota capitol in St. Paul. Griffith is a veteran of the Iraq war and part-time blogger. All opinions presented here are his own.